Here in Colorado, the days are growing shorter – the nights are getting cooler – and pumpkin season is here! And so I say – it’s time for Pumpkin Pie Bars – modified to please your tastebuds AND feed your brain.
Nice thing about these pumpkin pie bars, they’re a legit snack/small meal option that will give you a tasty bit of pumpkin goodness, AND leave you feeling good after you eat them. With added protein, healthy fats and complex carbs, and the conversely minimal amount of simple sugars – you will have the right raw materials to satisfy your hunger, balance your blood sugar, & support your brain in thinking clearly.
Pumpkin Pie Bars Recipe (Gluten Free)
Makes 12 squares
1/2 c Unsweetened Shredded Coconut
1c GF flour mix
1/2 c coconut sugar
1/4 c butter, melted
2 c unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp salt
Rice protein powder (vanilla, unsweetened – 125g [about 8 scoops])
Stevia powder (to taste – I used 3 tsp Sweetleaf brand)
4 whole eggs, beaten
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Combine 1st 4 ingredients, then press into bottom of greased 9 x 13 baking pan. Bake in oven for 15-20 minutes (until lightly browned).
While base is baking, mix in a large pot over medium high heat almond milk, all spices, and the salt. Bring to a gentle boil. Then pull off heat & gently mix in the pumpkin (using a hand immersion blender will speed along your prep time). Once pumpkin fully blended, add in protein powder and sweetener if needed (if using a protein powder that is already sweetened, be sure to taste the mix before adding additional sweetener). After sweetened to taste, beat in eggs until batter is smooth. Then pour on top of the baked base, and bake in oven for 30-40 minutes (until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean).
Final steps: Cool bars, cut into 12 squares, eat, and enjoy! These are YUM as a post workout food, or as a snack because you’re hungry and they’re delicious *nom nom*. Heads up – these also freeze well – so make a bunch, then freeze individual squares for snacks as desired…
Per serving: 206 kcal; 21g Protein; 18g Carbohydrates (2g sugar); 6g Fat
Have – Some – Fun (!!!) with this recipe because it’s quite forgiving!
For those of you not concerned about oats, cows milk (to include dairy proteins like whey & casein), I made one batch of these bars for Eric using oats instead of shredded coconut; milk in place of almond milk; sweetened whey & casein proteins instead of rice protein; and added 1/2 cup xylitol rather than stevia to sweeten to his liking (he digs baked goods that are sweet with minimal simple sugars, and a hefty dose of protein). His comment about this version: “These taste better than pumpkin pie!” and then, he asked me to make him another batch. So – suffice to say, these are Eric approved *wink*
For the base, if gluten free flour mixes are a no go for you (the mix of grains, legumes, and ‘gums’ often found in the GF flour mixes can exacerbate inflammation &/or digestive issues for some folks), try cutting out the GF flour mix, and using 1 cup shredded coconut, 1/2 cup almond meal, coconut sugar, and 1/4-1/2 cup butter; or my preference – using only shredded coconut, coconut sugar, and butter. Both are yumm-a-licious.
Here’s to happy tastebuds and a healthy bod!
Check out FAQs
Contact me HERE
Shout out to Precision Nutrition for the original recipe idea idea.*high five!*